Domain Names – Don’t Get Caught Short

I went to a new yoga class today (which is why I’m ever so relaxed dear reader ;)). It’s a new school and their identity, marketing materials and even the studio itself are beautiful. Being new, and a Thursday morning, I was also lucky enough to be the only student so effectively had a private lesson. The way they are set-up and marketing themselves I don’t expect that to last long.

They even have a website (this is Australia – it’s not that common yet) and whilst it’s not search friendly it’s beautiful and provides enough information about them and their classes. They also advertise their website address everywhere. The only problem, it contains a dash: yoga-path.com.au and they don’t seem to own the alternative, yogapath.com.au.

This is problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. They’ll loose a lot of traffic to people who type in the domain with no dash.
  2. There’s a chance a competitor (or domaineer) may snap up the alternative domain.
  3. The dash makes it harder for it to pass the billboard test. What’s the billboard test? Is it easy for someone to remember if they saw it on a billboard? I know I kept forgetting it and finally stopped and picked up a brochure to remind me.

When choosing your domain name make sure it’s as close to your business name as possible. If there are variations or common misspellings it’s worth registering them to.

If it’s a business you plan to market overseas make sure you have the .com version as well as the one for your own county code (.com.au in Australia).

This may seem like a minor deal right now but believe me you’ll appreciate your foresight down the track.

Me being me, I did make this suggestion to my teacher at the end of the class and she was really appreciative. Unfortunately it turns out yogapath.com.au has already gone.

6 thoughts on “Domain Names – Don’t Get Caught Short”

  1. Sophie, you’re pointing to almost the most important step in starting a company. This is homework before you choose your company name and then buy a domain name. Make sure you’ll ‘own’ the name on the Internet. That’s great advice you’re giving here. Your teacher is one of the many millions who have ended up with a problem by not doing this.

  2. Thanks Barry. When I changed my company name last year it took ages to find something I really liked that was available as both a business name and the corresponding domains (.com and .com.au). It was worth it in the end though…

  3. Turns out Germans use dashes almost as common practice in .de name space and hyphenated domains are just as valuable if not more than non-hyphen versions. Just search .de in Goog and you can see it.

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